Friday, January 26, 2007

Dream job ends at IDOT

Illinois’ Secretary of Transportation Tim Martin resigned today, according to an abrupt announcement from the governor’s office that provides little explanation other than he’s returning to the private sector.

Martin has led the Illinois Department of Transportation since 2003 under Gov. Rod Blagojevich. In the governor's release, Martin calls it “a dream job for any engineer that grew up in Illinois.” The governor’s announcement says Martin’s leadership was “instrumental in modernizing and making IDOT more efficient and focused the agency on better using technology to accomplish its goals.” He also marked the agency’s 2006 record of having the fewest fatalities since 1924.

Also on Martin’s watch, however, is IDOT’s status as one of at least 15 agencies to have received federal subpoenas in an ongoing federal investigation into hiring and contracting practices within Blagojevich’s administration. No one has been charged with wrongdoing.

IDOT spokesman Matt Vanover says Martin resigned and was not asked to leave. These types of changes are common as administrations transition into new terms, he says.

Milt Sees, IDOT director of highways, takes over until the governor nominates a permanent secretary, which requires Senate approval.

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